Hewlett Packard is shelling out $1.2 billion to purchase Palm. While HP used to be a pretty major player in the mobile device space, over the past few years the company hasn’t shown much enthusiasm for the cellphone market, offering just a handful of iPaq-branded Windows Mobile phones and PDAs. But it looks like that could all change soon, with HP promising to invest heavily in Palm’s WebOS mobile operating system.
Engadget reports that HP also plans to leverage WebOS across multiple platforms — which could even mean we’ll start to see the operating system on iPad-like tablets. After all, the iPhone OS works pretty well on the iPad. And a number of companies are building Google Android-powered tablets. Why not a WebOS-based tablet? Or maybe we’ll see the Palm Foleo brought back from the dead as a WebOS-powered netbook?
If there’s one thing that’s becoming abundantly clear in the tablet space, it’s that operating systems that are built with touch in mind are a lot easier to use with slate computers than operating systems that were designed for use with a keyboard and mouse — even if some touch-friendly features were slapped on as an afterthought. Because let’s face it — there’s not a single application that runs on the iPad that wasn’t designed to be operated with your fingertips. You can’t really say the same about the Asus Eee PC T101MT.
You can read more about HP’s plans to purchase Palm at Mobiputing.
Update: Yup, it’s official. HP is thinking about WebOS slates and netbooks… and may even put off the launch of the HP Slate to decide whether it should really run Windows 7 or if WebOS would be a better fit.